From irritation and embarassment to self-hatred.

Yep, that’s my slippery slide.  And I take it far more often than I should.  In the case of today, I went to pick up some food on the way to work.  Although it wasn’t going to be the healthiest meal, it did have some good parts.  I have been doing really well staying away from fast food, so I thought it would be okay.  I checked my bank balance yesterday and it was fine.  I quickly found out when I tried to pay that it wasn’t anymore.   Highly embarassed, I had to tell them I couldn’t pay for the food.  There’s nothing like the look of pity when you can’t pay for a $6 lunch.

So I got to work and made some food (I keep food in my drawer for when I forget to make it before I come to work).  After I clocked in, I sat down at my computer and started work.  I pulled up my bank account.  Apparently, a payment that I thought would hit the account next week hit today instead.  😦  This was very irritating because I have been trying to keep up with my finances.  Especially since the $300 I had to pay the electric company is making me short for the end of the month.  I am planning on saving as much as I can in the meantime so I can pay as much as possible toward my rent.  I am also about to send in my taxes and medical reimbursement information.  So I should have money coming in pretty soon as long as I get them both done within the next few days.

But that irritation with myself and embarassment took me down a very familiar pathway.  I realize that anyone could have done what I did.  And many people do and have.  That doesn’t mean it is okay for me to do it.  (And no, I am not allowed to have human frailties in my own mind.)  I realize logically, that this situation is not tragic, and I will be able to find my way out.  As a matter of fact, I am already working on it. 

BUT. 

In my head I have to be perfect in all things.  In my head, the fact that I bounced a single payment is grounds for remembering all of the idiotic and ignorant decisions and actions in my past.  I go from being irritated with myself to full-on self-castigation.  Telling myself how this shows I am completely incompetent and can’t even take care of myself.  No wonder no one wants to be around me if I cannot even do a simple thing like keep track of my money and bills.  This just shows how stupid a smart person can be.  Everyone in my past that told me what a failure I am must have been right with this demonstration of my inadequacy

BUT.

After years of therapy, each time I have one of these thoughts, I remember to think at least a little more logically.  I have to be perfect in all things = No one is perfect, everyone makes mistakes.  I am completely incompetent and cannot take care of myself = I hold a full-time job and generally pay my bills on time and as needed.  No one wants to be around me if I am unable to do simple things = I have good friends and family that love me.  I am a stupid smart person = I am able to accomplish many things in my life that have nothing to do with my education.  The people in my past were right, I am a failure and inadequate = Those people in my past were wrong and often bad people; each day I succeed at being the person I am meant to be. 

I have these “reframes” of my negative thoughts, but that doesn’t mean I don’t still feel the pain associated with the original thought.  It is more that the length of time that I feel that bad is lessened everytime I reframe the thought.  Even a year ago, I would have been frozen by my self-hatred for hours.  I would have burst into tears at the drive through.  So, even though I feel all of the emotions behind those negative thoughts, they influence my behavior less.  And I still have times when I can’t think of a reframe, or I am side-swiped by the negative thoughts and I go deep into the spiral of self-hatred.  It has also helped me to disconnect my feelings from my behaviors in response.  So, even though I was horribly upset and mad at myself, I made it in to work and have accomplished what I need to do.  There is still an underlying murmur of self-hatred and inadequacy.  I try to keep focused on what I need to get done, but it is harder when I really don’t have much to do.  (Like tonight, sadly.) 

I honestly think that fighting the negative thoughts takes more energy than just giving in to them.  Everytime I fight them, though…I get a little stronger and they get a little weaker.  Even though it is hard for me to tell sometimes, when I start looking back on how I handled a similar situation in the past, I can see the change.  But sitting here hating myself…still hurts.

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~ by theartistryofthebipolarbrain on February 16, 2012.

2 Responses to “From irritation and embarassment to self-hatred.”

  1. That sounds like me. In time I started accepting that I was not perfect and realizing, ‘who cares anyway?’.

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